“Equality for women and girls is not only a basic human right, it is a social and economic imperative. Where women are educated and empowered, economies are more productive and strong.”
– U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
Objective: Harness Geneva’s multilateral fora and enhance opportunities to economically empower women and girls, including through improved access to trade and entrepreneurship.
Where We Are
While women’s economic opportunities are expanding, significant gaps remain in the area of full economic participation. Women business owners struggle to obtain equal access to capital, and thus face obstacles to establish new businesses or expand existing ones. Among the biggest hurdles are discriminatory laws, regulations, and business conditions, as well as women’s lack of access to property rights, finance, education, training, technology, markets, mentors, and networks. Women’s economic empowerment is critical to fostering open and accountable governance, peace, and security, as well as to growing vibrant market economies, and improving food security. Women, their families, and their countries cannot realize their economic potential until each woman can realize The Future She Deserves.
What We Need…
is Geneva’s collective action to economically empower women and girls across sectors and regions, increasing their participation as entrepreneurs and producers in value chains from local markets to international trade.
How We’ll Do It
Geneva offers a unique platform to empower women and girls economically. Together, we can identify targeted interventions at Geneva-based international meetings and programs that increase women’s market access on fair terms. Collectively, member states, civil society, and sector experts can influence how United Nations agencies and others expand trade and entrepreneurship opportunities for women and girls. First steps should include:
- Strengthen efforts to economically empower women and girls across Geneva platforms;
- Enhance access for women business owners in UN procurement processes;
- Focus negotiators and technical experts on addressing the unique economic demands and constraints faced by women and adolescent girls; and
- Promote public-private partnerships that will foster women’s economic potential.